An Appeal to Common Wisdom in the Final Tale: The Parson’s Tale

The "Parson's Tale" is the final story of The Canterbury Tales. In the "General Prologue," the Parson is described as a 'good man of religion.' He is erudite, scholarly, devout, and forgiving. The Parson believes that in order to be a good priest he must be perfect, because sheep follow their shepherd, but only if … Continue reading An Appeal to Common Wisdom in the Final Tale: The Parson’s Tale

On The Wisdom of Silence in The Manciple’s Tale

After the close of the "Canon's Yeoman's Tale" the Host merrily asks the embarrassingly drunken Cook to tell a tale (his earlier tale was left unfinished). However, the Cook can barely sit upon his horse, much less tell a tale. We find his character laughable because of his immoderate alcohol consumption and his physical ridiculousness … Continue reading On The Wisdom of Silence in The Manciple’s Tale

Trickery and Alchemy in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale

"But al thyng which that shineth as the goldNis nat gold, as that I have herd it told;" (962-963) Neither the Canon (a priestly administrator of a cathedral) nor his Yeoman are mentioned in Chaucer's "General Prologue." Instead, they ride quickly from the previous town and meet up with the traveling group of storytellers at Boughton … Continue reading Trickery and Alchemy in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale

Deprivation and Excess in The Tale of Sir Thopas and The Tale of Melibee

Chaucer, the pilgrim, is the only member of the group who is allowed to present a second tale on the way to Canterbury. He delivers his second tale following the failure of his minstrel song, "The Tale of Sir Thopas." The second tale is told in prose form. It is about a rich man named … Continue reading Deprivation and Excess in The Tale of Sir Thopas and The Tale of Melibee

On Chaucerian Irony in the Tale of Sir Thopas

Chaucer describes the whole group as "sobre" after the previous tale of martyrdom told by the Prioress. Then the Host starts joking and for the first time he looks down at the narrator -the fictional character of Chaucer, who is an unusually quiet and observant person. He is an intellectual: maladroit, moody, somber, soft, and … Continue reading On Chaucerian Irony in the Tale of Sir Thopas